Nigeria Business & Finance Updates

SEC introduces electronic processing as NSE shuts trading floor

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a directive that all filing, processing of applications and returns must be done electronically to mitigate the impact of covid-19 on capital market operations.

In addition, the apex capital market regulator also extended the deadline on 2019 annual reports, first quarter (Q1) 2020 reports, and Q1 Capital Market Committee (CMC) meeting earlier scheduled for ‪April 23, 2020‬.

In a circular to capital market stakeholders, the commission stated that applications shall be filed electronically, while pending applications and requests by Capital Market Operator (CMOs) for update of information would be processed through registration@sec.gov.ng. However, fresh applications for registration of operators are suspended until further notice.

Also, returns shall be filed electronically, while the Commission has approved a 60-day extension, in the first instance for public companies and capital market operators to file their 2019 annual reports and Q1 2020 reports.

With the directive, the commission said public companies are expected to take appropriate precautionary measures as recommended by the Federal and state governments as well as the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to ensure the safety of shareholders and participants at Annual General Meetings (AGMs), Extra-Ordinary General Meetings (EGMs) and other meetings which may be held during the prevalence of the pandemic.

In the same vein, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) had on Monday, announced plans to close all trading floors temporarily effective Wednesday, March 25, 2020.

The exchange also extended the time for quoted companies to submit their audited financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2019.

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According to a statement by the exchange, remote trading will continue, even as NSE staff will be available through all digital platforms to provide support for dealing members and other stakeholders.

“Over three weeks ago, we activated precautionary health measures across our offices where we screened visitors with thermometers, provided sanitizers and minimized access into our premises.

“Further to this and with the significant growth in new cases, effective Tuesday, March 24, 2020, we have activated a 30-day remote working plan for our employees excluding essential staff.”

Meanwhile, the Nigerian equities market closed on a positive note yesterday, as the All Share Index (ASI) increased 0.19 per cent.

Specifically, at the close of transactions yesterday, the All Share Index (ASI) increased by 40.18 absolute points, representing a growth of 0.19 per cent to close at 21,741.16 points. Similarly, the market capitalisation gained N21 billion to close at N11.330 trillion.

The upturn was impacted by gains recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Chemical and Allied Products (CAP), Custodian Investment, Zenith Bank and Skyway Aviation Handling Company.

Market breath closed positive, recording 19 gainers and 10 losers. NPF Micro Finance Bank recorded the highest price gain of 9.52 per cent, to close at N1.15, per share. Stanbic IBTC Holdings followed with a gain 9.43 per cent to close at N26.10, while Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) appreciated by 8.93 per cent to close at 61 kobo, per share.

Jaiz Bank went up by 8.89 per cent to close at 49 kobo, while Skyway Aviation Handling Company appreciated by 8.66 per cent to close at N2.51, per share.

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On the other hand, Caverton Offshore Support Group led the losers’ chart by 10 per cent, to close at N2.25, per share. Conoil followed with a decline of 9.93 per cent to close at N13.15, while NASCON Allied Industries (NASCON) went down by 9.57 to close at N8.50, per share.

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) shed 8.99 per cent to close at N4.05, while Cadbury Nigeria depreciated by 8.85 per cent to close at N5.15, per share.

However, the total volume traded decreased by 28.9 per cent to 330.10 million shares, worth N3.57 billion, and traded in 4,561 deals. Transactions in the shares of Guaranty Trust Bank topped the activity chart with 78.899 million shares valued at N1.32 billion.

Zenith Bank followed with 77.91 million shares worth N852.87 million, while Access Bank traded 36.03 million shares valued at N198.35 million.

FBN Holdings traded 24.71 million shares valued at N96.35 million, while United Bank for Africa (UBA) transacted 18.81 million shares worth N84.36 million.

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